Kant and Hegel: Revolution and the Politics of Fear (May · 2017)
- Hegel-Jahrbuch (International Journal of Philosophy)
- Volume 2017· Issue 1
- Editor: De Gruyter
- ISSN: 2386-7655
In this paper I argue that the political thought of Kant and Hegel contains a critique of revolution, based on their interpretation of the French case. Despite their shared attachment to an ideal image of the French paradigm at the level of principles, Kant and Hegel learned to fear revolution and the loss of freedom entailed by its practical implications. There exist coincidences in their understanding of the problem, but also differences in their responses to revolutionary upheaval. To this extent, Hegel did not exactly respond to Kant on this issue; rather, he deepened some key aspects of the Kantian perspective on the challenge of radical political change, by incorporating an analysis of the causes of modern political revolutions beyond their known consequences. I finally conclude that Hegel’s attempt to transcend Kant’s authoritarian formulas for taming revolution represents a more articulated, though in the end unsuccessful solution, to deal with the phenomena in question. My case follows this course: First, I look at the problem in Kant. Second, I consider Hegel’s views on the issue in the context of his political model. I finally draw some conclusions based on the similarities and differences of their respective outlooks.